Sensory Play – Painting Pinecones with Spice Paints

Sensory Play - Painting Pinecones with Spice Paints

Nature has so many great sensory experiences and Fall is the perfect time of year to explore them. The leaves change colors and drop from the trees along with pinecones and other fun objects. Take advantage of the season while it’s still here!  Yesterday we explored nature with Mud Dough, today we are continuing to explore nature by painting pinecones!

Make sure to check out what we did with the painted pinecones when you are done reading this article!

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  1. Fall Spice Paints*
  2. Fall colored glitter (I used yellow, green and orange)
  3. Pine cones
  4. Large bin
  5. Paint brushes

*For this project I decided to use cinnamon and pumpkin spice paints from my previous article entitled Fall Spice Paints. I also used a new scented paint I’m calling Vanilla Spice Paint. To make these Vanilla Spice Paints follow the directions for the original spice paints using vanilla as the “spice”, adding two extra tablespoons of flour and fifteen drops of yellow food coloring.

The Set Up

I placed many pinecones in a large plastic bin along with small containers of spice paints and glitter. After taking this picture I decided that I would let them have the glitter after they had almost finished painting the pinecones. I am so glad I did!

Painting Pinecones set up

How They Played

My twenty-three-month old twins came running out the door to the patio after I had yelled “Okay it’s time to paint!” I didn’t even have to explain to them what to do! They went right for the paint brushes and dipped them into the Spice Paints.

Painting Pinecones with Spice Paints

They enjoyed painting the pinecones but also looking at them and feeling them. Pinecones are a great sensory experience in and of themselves, with their pointy edges and fresh pine scent. Exploring Pinecones

Another thing they loved doing was taking their brushes, dipping into one color paint, and then dipping right into another color paint. This made for a nice swirl of colors on the end of the brush. My son, SD, would even stand and watch the brush as the paint dripped off.

Mixing spice paints

Because I had been lazy and didn’t put away the supplies from yesterday’s project, my toddlers gathered other supplies to experiment with. Here is SD attempting to paint a pinecone with a spoon and SN using a sponge brush to paint hers!

Sensory Play - Painting Pinecones with Spice Paints

This was a lovely sensory experience for my twins! The aroma of spice paints smelled delicious and the kids had a fantastic time exploring pinecones and painting them. Now see what we did with the painted pinecones!


Looking for more sensory play ideas? Check out all of Sow Sprout Play’s sensory play activities.

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  • Stacy Adams

    This looks so fun! Can’t wait to try it out with my 2 year old!

    • SowSproutPlay

      It was a lot of fun! Hope you enjoy!

  • I love using nature’s supplies in crafts. Thanks for linking up at Artsy Play Wednesday. Pinned to our group board.

    • SowSproutPlay

      Thank you so much!

  • Rainy Day Mum

    I love how vibrant the spice paints come out and what a great nature based activity for tots. Thank you so much for liking up to Tuesday Tots this week and just popping by to let you know that I’m featuring this over on Rainy Day Mum

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